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Maldives: After 11 days, Mohamed Nasheed steps out of Indian High Commission


Suhasini Haidar, CNN-IBN
Feb 23, 2013 at 11:43pm IST

Male: Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed on Saturday stepped out of the Indian High Commission in Male, where he took refuge on February 13 after police attempted to arrest him. A court in Maldives had ordered Nasheed's arrest after he missed a February 10 court appearance in a case relating to accusations that he illegally detained a judge during the last days of his rule, police spokesman Hassan Haneef said.

Nasheed, the Maldives's first democratically elected leader, was removed from office a year ago in contested circumstances and his supporters have frequently clashed with security forces in the Indian Ocean archipelago, famous as a luxury tourist resort.

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A few days ago, a high-level Ministry of External Affairs team led by Joint Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla was sent to Maldives where it held a series of meetings with senior government ministers and various other stakeholders. Sources said the crisis was resolved on Saturday following which Nasheed came out of the mission. The Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi confirmed that Nasheed left the premises of the High Commission at 4.15 pm and said it hopes the former president is able to resume his social and political life.

"The former president had entered the Indian Mission in Male on February 13, 2013 on his own volition and had similarly decided to leave on his own. It is hoped that with this development the former president will again resume his social and political life. India would be happy to support all efforts to create favourable conditions for free, fair, credible and inclusive presidential elections in September 2013," said the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson.

After coming out of the mission, Nasheed thanked India for its hospitality. "I thank India for the kindness and hospitality shown to me," he said. Nasheed also hoped that presidential elections in the country will peaceful. The elections are to be be held in Maldives in September 2013.

Meanwhile, Maldives President Mohamed Waheed welcomes the development saying he was "happy that the longest meeting in world has ended. We were formally told by the High Commission on the first day that Nasheed had come into the Mission for a meeting and will be out once it is over". He added that there was no arrest warrant against Nasheed at the moment.

(With additional information from PTI)

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